WSJ: Russian oligarch Abramovych remains an intermediary between the Kremlin and Ukraine, but his influence is waning

Oleksiy Yarmolenko

Russian businessman Roman Abramovych, who participated in peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine at the beginning of the invasion, continues to participate in contacts between the countries. But now his role is reduced to negotiating a prisoner exchange or "grain deal."

This is stated in the article of The Wall Street Journal.

Abramovich remains an acceptable mediator for Russian President Putin, Ukraine and its allies. They claim that since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Abramovych met Putin personally and spoke with him several times on the phone. The businessman also has a direct connection with Anton Vine, the head of the administration of the President of the Russian Federation.

According to the interlocutors of the publication, Abramovych brings Kyivʼs position to Putin, and then conveys the Kremlinʼs opinion to the Ukrainian side. Including, he helps with small prisoner exchanges every few weeks.

Ukrainian and Western officials have said they no longer expect Abramovych to play a key mediating role in the dialogue between the countries. Whatʼs more, his motives raise doubts among the representatives of the West, who see in them attempts to achieve the lifting of sanctions.

  • On the night of September 22, Ukraine exchanged prisoners with Russia. Ukraine returned 215 defenders of Mariupol, including the commanders of the "Azov" regiment, and Putinʼs godfather Viktor Medvedchuk and 55 Russian soldiers were returned to Russia. On the afternoon of September 21, it became known that the Russian authorities handed over 10 captured foreigners who fought for Ukraine to Saudi Arabia. Later, it became known that the Posiyan oligarch Roman Abramovich participated in the last major exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia. He was a mediator and communicated closely with the director of the FSB Alexander Bortnikov and the head of the Presidentʼs Office Andriy Yermak.